JUSTUS OF TIBERIAS

JUSTUS OF TIBERIAS, historian; a contemporary of josephus and his rival in describing the Jewish War (66–70/73 C.E.). The main source of knowledge of Justus – the disparaging polemic directed against him by Josephus in his Life – is of doubtful value, since Josephus may have falsified facts. Nevertheless two things are clear: that Justus came from a respected Tiberian family, and that "he did not lack Greek culture," as Josephus himself admits. Justus' name and that of his father (Pistus) also attest Hellenistic influence, and he was, moreover, appointed private secretary to agrippa ii , a post which obviously demanded a thorough command of Greek. Apart from this it is difficult to find in Josephus anything further in Justus' favor. Josephus accuses him of personal turpitude, licentiousness, bribery, and theft. These accusations may be ignored. Of a more complex nature is the question of Justus' loyalties during the war. Josephus charges that Justus was the sworn enemy of the Romans and an associate of the zealots , doing everything in his power to draw Tiberias and Galilee into the revolt against Roman rule. In addition, Josephus states that Justus organized an attack on the Greek cities of the Decapolis, whose inhabitants were faithful allies of the Romans, adding that this attack is also mentioned in the memoirs of Vespasian. According to Josephus, Justus, while in Berytus (Beirut), was accused of treason against the Romans and would certainly have been sentenced to death but for Vespasian's friendliness to Agrippa. All this, however, does not necessarily prove that Justus was a Zealot. Possibly Agrippa explained the attack as a loyal Tiberian's vengeance against the Greeks for their bloody attacks on the Jews at the outbreak of the war. Nevertheless, Justus was obviously no lover of Roman rule. In view of his friendship with Agrippa, Justus probably shared the views expressed by the latter in his speech to the rebels in Jerusalem (the account of which in Josephus undoubtedly has an historical basis). The gist of this was that Roman might was so decisive that it could not be overcome, and that there was therefore no sense fighting it. Agrippa himself,   then, was not an admirer of Roman rule in Judea, but only reconciled to it. Justus, a devoted Tiberian concerned for the welfare of his native city, did everything in his power to ensure Agrippa's continued rule in Tiberias. This brought him into conflict with Josephus, who arrived in Galilee on behalf of the revolutionary government in Jerusalem and strove to extend his influence over the whole province. In an attempt to crush the opposition against him, Josephus imprisoned many of the city notables, including Justus and his father. Justus, however, succeeded in escaping from his prison in Tarichaeae to Berytus, and henceforth had no further direct contact with the events of the war. It was after his escape that he was appointed Agrippa's private secretary, which gave him good opportunity of hearing at first hand about the conduct of the war in Galilee, and especially about the questionable role played by Josephus. He embodied this information in a book about the war, which was for the most part an extensive account of events in Galilee before the arrival of Vespasian, and dealt particularly with the misdeeds of Josephus in Tiberias. Since Josephus published his own history of the war after 75 C.E. and Justus suppressed his reply for some 20 years (Vita, 360), it may be concluded that Justus' work was published only after the death of Domitian (96 C.E.) when Nerva ascended the throne. From the fact that Josephus begins his Life with a detailed description of his distinguished descent from the Hasmoneans, it may be assumed that Justus tried to derogate not only him but also his family. Justus' main purpose in writing the book was apparently to wreak belated vengeance on his rival, which he could not exact under the Flavian emperors. It is generally believed that Justus also wrote a second book, a chronicle of the kings of Israel. Although a list which was in the possession of Photius, patriarch of Constantinople, between 858 and 868, seemed to make the description of the war merely part of the chronicle, the detailed nature of the description of the events in Galilee (as evidenced in Josephus) presupposes a separate work. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Schuerer, Gesch, index; A. Baerwald, Flavius Josephus in Galilaea (Ger., 1877); Niese, in: Historische Zeitschrift, 76 (1896), 227ff.; H. Luther, Josephus und Justus von Tiberias (1910); R. Laqueur, Der juedische Historiker Flavius Josephus (1920), 6ff.; H. Drexler, in: Klio, 19 (1925), 293ff.; A. Schalit, ibid., 26 (1933), 66–95; M. Stein, Ḥayyei Yosef (19393), introd., 5–16, and notes; A. Pelletier, Flavius Josèphe, Autobiographie (1959), xivff. (Abraham Schalit)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Justus of Tiberias — was a Jewish author and historian living in the second half of the 1st century AD. Little is known about his life, except as told by his political and literary enemy Josephus Flavius. Justus was born in Tiberias, a highly Hellenistic Galilean… …   Wikipedia

  • Justus von Tiberias — war ein Autor und Chronist der Antike. Er lebte in der zweiten Hälfte des 1. Jahrhunderts und stammte aus Tiberias bei Kapernaum, einem im Jahre 20 gegründeten und nach Kaiser Tiberius benannten Ort in Galiläa. Ansonsten sind nur wenige Fakten… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Justus von Tiberias — Justus von Tiberias, Jude, Sohn des Pistos, demagogischer Redner u. Parteimann gegen Rom, ergriff die Waffen u. fiel in Syrien ein; als Josephos 66 n.Chr. Statthalter von Galiläa wurde, war er dessen erklärter Feind u. stellte ihm sogar nach dem… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Justus of Tiberias — (1st century AD)    Jewish historian. Justus came from a respected family in Tiberias, which was in the domain of the last of the Herodian dynasty, Agrippa II, tetrarch of the region round the Sea of Galilee. He had a Greek education, and both… …   Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament

  • Justus of Tiberias — (fl. 1st cent)    Historian. He was a contemporary of Josephus and opposed his actions in Galilee during the Jewish rebellion against Rome (66 70). With his father and others Justus was arrested and taken to Tarichaea. Later he fled to Beirut,… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Justus (Vorname) — Justus ist ein männlicher Vorname und Nachname. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Herkunft und Bedeutung 2 Bekannte Namensträger 2.1 Vorname 2.2 Familienname 2.3 Herrschername …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Justus — ist ein männlicher Vorname und Nachname. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Herkunft und Bedeutung 2 Varianten 3 Bekannte Namensträger 3.1 Vorname …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Justus (disambiguation) — Justus might refer to:People * Saint Justus, Archbishop of Canterbury (d. 627) * Saint Justus of Beauvais (3rd century) * Saint Justus of Lyons (4th century) * Saints Justus and Pastor (4th century) * Saint Justus of Urgell (6th century) * Justus …   Wikipedia

  • Der jüdische Krieg (Roman) — Der jüdische Krieg ist ein historischer Roman des Schriftstellers Lion Feuchtwanger. Das Buch erschien 1932 und ist der erste Teil der Josephus Trilogie, welche das Leben des jüdischen Geschichtsschreibers Flavius Josephus erzählt.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • JOSEPHUS FLAVIUS — (c. 37–after 100 C.E.), Jewish historian and one of the chief representatives of Jewish Hellenistic literature. BIOGRAPHY Early Life Born in Jerusalem into an aristocratic priestly family belonging to the mishmeret of Jehoiarib, through his… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.